Listen To The Pump Master, His Story Never Wears Down

Example of a worn impeller at the Damen Dredging Experience
Example of a worn impeller at the Damen Dredging Experience

This week is the triannual WODCON conference1. This edition will be held in lovely Copenhagen, in itself already a reason to be there. But there is more, the program is packed with interesting items. Starting with the opening ceremony with the Danish minister of transport and the Corporate Executives Discussion on sustainability. The Fehmarnbelt Tunnel Link will be a hot topic all through the program. My personal suggestion would be to attend Session 4: ‘Hydraulic Transport’ on Tuesday 17. Two of my highly regarded colleagues will be presenting their work on very interesting topics.

Damen colleagues present at the WODCON 2022, (l) Rick Bekkers, (r) Suman Sapkota
Damen colleagues present at the WODCON 2022, (l) Rick Bekkers, (r) Suman Sapkota

Rick Bekkers has been involved in the development of our new ProDredge edition. It is a slurry transport estimation tool. Where Ewout van Duursen has been working tirelessly on programming the tool, Rick has been checking the models and the results against known literature. He will show you the new reports generated and the insights they will give you for evaluating a proposed dredging system.

ProDredge presentation of a dredging system to be evaluated
ProDredge presentation of a dredging system to be evaluated

Suman Sapkota will be presenting his favourite topic: ‘Erosion estimation on the impeller blades of centrifugal dredge pumps’. He has been working on this topic ever since his own graduation project.2 Over the years he spend pondering over this issue and gradually grew in experience with the problem. Based on his ideas, he managed to start a cooperation with the Delft University of Technology and have a master student working on the practical details of his plans. Previously, I’ve written about the graduation of Wim Kleermaker in another article.3

Wim Kleermaker during the practical phase of his graduation in dredging
Wim Kleermaker during the practical phase of his graduation in dredging

Suman has been concentrating on gathering the various models for wear under different conditions during his own graduation. The results from his simulations could only be checked against my own experience with badly worn impellers and disasters. Immediately introducing observer bias and survivor bias. So, for this project Suman really wanted to include experiments to have at least one observation to match the simulations.

Damen slurry test circuit with dredge pump and impeller
Damen slurry test circuit with dredge pump and impeller

And what a struggle it was, to get the experiments done. Wim really gained more experience in fixing troubles than in fact finding. In the end he managed. After operating for a couple of weeks under heavy load conditions for the dredge pump, the impeller showed a noticeable wear pattern. And they came up with an innovative way of measuring the erosion pattern and match the test results with the simulation results.

Comparing CFD results (l) with measured erosion (r)
Comparing CFD results (l) with measured erosion (r)

The paper Suman is going to present on the WODCON, condenses the results from Wim together with Suman’s previous work as a graduation student himself. Don’t get deterred by the in depth analysis. If you fancy, you can follow the comprehensive literature references and understand his model. Or, just enjoy the ride and inspect the interesting pictures with the conclusions at the end. If you are really interested in his work, just approach him in the break hours, he is very willing to share his experience with you.

If you can’t find him, or Rick. Drop by at our booth #27 in the lobby.4 There will always be someone to get you into contact.

Damen invitation for the WODCON 2022
Damen invitation for the WODCON 2022

References

  1. WODCON 2022, WODA
  2. Graduation Suman Sapkota: Where Wear Parts Were Worn Down, Discover Dredging
  3. Graduation Of Wim Kleermaker: Measuring And Predicting Wear In Impellers
  4. WODCON Dredging Conference, Saskia den Herder

See also

Second Thoughts On The Energy Transition Panel At the Latest CEDA Dredging Days

Energy transition panel discussion CEDA Dredging Days 2021 (Credit: CEDA)
Energy transition panel discussion CEDA Dredging Days 2021 (Credit: CEDA)

The CEDA Dredging Days are long gone1. Maybe some of you still have a faint memory of the innovative online event. After this event I was quite occupied and not able to do a proper review. I did even miss the opportunity for the traditional new years welcome post. My apologies, more to that another time. Concerning the Dredging Days. I still kept some nagging thoughts about the Energy transition panel discussion that I want to share with you. And the recent invitation for participating in the CEDA Commission on Decarbonisation is another good motivation2.

On the second day of the conference there was a session with a panel discussion on the ‘Energy transition in the dredging industry’. Several experts in the dredging community were invited to present their perspective on the energy transition. From the legislation side (Dagmar Nelissen, CE Delft), clients (Joris Vijverberg, Rijkswaterstaat), suppliers (Benny Mestemaker, Royal IHC) and contractors (Sven Kramer, Van Oord). The panel was moderated by Paul Vercruijsse from the CEDA Working Group on Energy Efficiency3.

The take-aways of the panellists were amongst others: ‘No single solution for all, Transitional fuels should be flexible, Transition should be facilitated by regulation, There might be a financial objection to change.’ Along these lines, there were polls on the perspective of the audience. The response to two of the polls surprised the panellists.

Results on the polls for rate of transition (l) and preferred energy carrier (r) (Credit:CEDA)
Results on the polls for rate of transition (l) and preferred energy carrier (r) (Credit:CEDA)

As I was present there, I have my own perspective on the discussion. First the rate of transition. The panel was surprised that the audience was expecting a transition ahead of the IMO planning. I was responding to our own national situation. Currently I see so some initiatives to convert dredges and projects to electric drives, that it could be possible4,5,6. But I expect to see a next generation of newbuilds soon that will be virtually or completely decarbonized.

Well to propeller emissions (Credit: CEDA)
Well to propeller emissions (Credit: CEDA)

The other surprise is was the preference for hydrogen as the final fuel of the future. Although all the alternatives do have better performance, are easier to store or downright cheaper according to the experts in the panel. That might be very well, but I think the answer is in the presentation by Benny Mestemaker. It will simply be the fuel with the lowest emission to supply and use. In the end we will have to go to that dot on the horizon. And I do see other advantages where my opinion differs from the experts. The complaints of the panel was the complete lack of infrastructure for hydrogen at both the project sites and the vessels themselves.

Concerning the infrastructure near the project site. Yes, there are no installations yet. However, the thing is. You can find renewably generated hydrogen everywhere. As long as you have access to sun, wind and water. And that is exactly where most dredging projects are happening. Off course, there is no factory yet, but that is outdated philosophy. There will be movable plants available that will create a new market. e.g. I am very hopeful of initiatives like ‘Solar Duck’7. They can roam the projects delivering tailor made hydrogen production, right where you need it.

Floating solar power plant (Credit: SolarDuck)
Floating solar power plant (Credit: SolarDuck)

Concerning the vessels. Yes, the installation to sail the vessel on hydrogen will take up a lot of valuable cargo space. But, that is no technical problem. We’ve had technologies that required an even bigger chunk of the vessel deadweight: coal burning steam ships. The big equalizer is: there was no other solution. Everybody was using it. And that is the same here. I think there will be no other solution than to use hydrogen, as it is completely emission free. One of my perspectives on design choices: select the solution that you know will solve the problem!
Transition schedule to convert to fossil fuel free dredging equipment

Transition schedule to convert to fossil fuel free dredging equipment
Transition schedule to convert to fossil fuel free dredging equipment

References

  1. CEDA Dredging Days 2021, CEDA
  2. Invitation to CEDA Commission on Decarbonisation (CCD), CEDA
  3. CEDA Working Group on Energy Efficiency (WGEE), CEDA
  4. Transitiepad Kustlijnzorg en Vaargeulonderhoud, Rijkswaterstaat
  5. Zero Emission Dredging Hub van start, EDB Drechtsteden
  6. Complete zandfabriek zo hoog als een flatgebouw dobbert ineens in de voorhaven van Deest, De Gelderlander
  7. Electrifying the world with offshore floating solar, SolarDuck

See also

We Choose To Adopt Energy Transition, But How Will We Succeed?

Comment

CEDA will provide access to the panel discussion shortly. Dredging Days attendees can still (re-) watch it on the conference platform.

CEDA Dredging Days 2021: Sustainable Dredging And Innovation

Promotional banner of the CEDA Dredging Days 2021 (Credit: CEDA)
Promotional banner of the CEDA Dredging Days 2021 (Credit: CEDA)

Tomorrow, another event with a long tradition will start: the CEDA Dredging Days1. Due to the Covid issues, this time, it will be a virtual event, just as a lot of other regular happenings. Hopefully, it will be the last days of this dreadful period. I can’t wait to meet people again in real life. Back at the office, we are slowly starting to get back. But meetings with people far outside the regular circle were difficult. For instance, I was a member of the Technical Paper & Program Committee and the preparation was completely digital.

Home page of your CEDA Dredging Days on the Swapcard platform (Credit: CEDA)
Home page of your CEDA Dredging Days on the Swapcard platform (Credit: CEDA)

Now, the event itself is also digital. Of course, this is still not the real thing. Having a coffee and a chat in the lobby is a much more enjoyable experience than sitting in front of your screen. I have to say that with the Sawpcard platform2 selected by the organising committee, it is much easier to arrange your own program, adapted to your personal interests. Moreover, it will also facilitate meeting people with the same interest. In a sense, this might be an opportunity to approach those. In the real world, people will not get seated next to you when they have the same interest. And certainly don’t have them captioned on their chest.

Pump design workflow (inspired by Suman Sapkota)
Pump design workflow (inspired by Suman Sapkota)

As member of the TPPC, I had the opportunity of a sneak preview of the articles and presentations and I can guarantee there are a lot of interesting sessions. For starters, there are three presentations by my colleagues. Suman Sapkota will have presentation on his research in various novel methods to apply numerical research into the design of dredge pumps3. We are happy to share with you some experiences and insights on the Dredging Days.

Testing the non-radioactive density sensor
Testing the non-radioactive density sensor

Another presentation will be by Frank Bosman4. He has been active in the development of an instrument that will measure the mixture density, without using a radio-active source. This intelligent solution is not only more sustainable, but will also provide easier access to this information. If you don’t know the density, you are very likely to underperform with your dredge. He will present some experiences and data gathered on the performance of this system.

Example of recent electric DOP dredge family

Our last presentation will be by René Sens3. Less technical, but surely an interesting perspective on the future of dredging equipment. Everyone in the dredging community is aware of the necessity to change and adapt to a more sustainable approach of our dredging business. There is an urgency to reach the goals set by the UN to leave the world behind as a better place than we received it. Although usually an increase in size also increases the efficiency of a dredge, the UN goals look beyond that single parameter. With that in mind, small and medium size dredges will be far more interesting than at first sight.

Session 7: Young CEDA ask a CEO (Credit: CEDA)
Session 7: Young CEDA ask a CEO (Credit: CEDA)

There will be a lot more going on and I could produce a long list of other interesting presentations. I think you should also check out: Edwin de Hoog and Joep Goeree, Basel Yousef and Jeroen van Stappen, and if you really want to get academic: Janek Gundlach, Ebi Shahmirzadi and Arno Talmon. You can just add to your own list and see who also joins in in the audience. Other interesting sessions will be the student ‘Flash Talks’5 and the ‘Young CEDA ask a CEO’ session6 with Peter Berdovski and Kees van de Graaf. And I am very curious what the other working groups and commissions of CEDA have to present about their work.

Thursday evening is the big get together of the dredging community; meet you there! (Credit: CEDA)
Dredging Days as a they used to be: personal interaction (Credit: CEDA)

References

  1. CEDA Dredging Days 2021, CEDA
  2. CEDA Dredging Days 2021, Outsourced Events
  3. Session 5: Latest in dredging equipment and technology
  4. Session 2: Developments in modelling and measuring hydraulic transport, CEDA
  5. Session 8: Young CEDA Flash Talks
  6. Session 7: Young CEDA ask a CEO

See also